Reflections on Life After Antidepressants

The main point I have wanted to make in this series of posts related to my discontinuation of antidepressants is this: It can be done. You will survive. Your body is working with you to recover. The last days of my third and final taper, nearly two years after I had made the first attempt, ended innocuously. Step by step I was slicing down my tablets until they became too small to slice. At this point I started skipping days: I'd take a sliver on a Monday and not take the next one until … [Read more...]

Third Try to Get Off Antidepressants: Success, at Long Last

In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, I have been posting about the long and arduous journey I took to get off antidepressants. They had been prescribed for me by a general practitioner when I was experiencing a difficult passage in my life and, over time, had come to affect my health adversely. I made the decision to get off them but it was a long haul. This post addresses how, by my third attempt, I had learned some fundamental ways to broach the taper of these meds and how, by God's … [Read more...]

The Troubling Matter of Medical NonCompliance

by Wendy Murray In keeping with my posts this month -- Mental Health Awareness month -- I include below an account of an experience I had with a medical professional who proved unhelpful and even belligerent in my attempt to seek her help in withdrawing from my antidepressant. I have learned that this story is typical and many patients, like myself, contend with unhelpful doctors.  I want to be clear that, even as I write about my experience with this one professional, I also saw several other … [Read more...]

What SSRIs Do To the Brain, Making Them Difficult to Quit

(This series about antidepressants is posted during Mental Health Awareness month.) For some, the attempt to discontinue antidepressants is a life-or-death dance. Something in the brain of a person who is discontinuing sends alarming signals. Often these impulses leave one with the singular feeling of rage that focuses on the need to self-destruct or to destroy something or someone else. For those who are discontinuing, if during one of these rage-filled moments, they are lucky enough to cling … [Read more...]

I Knew I Had to Quit Antidepressants When My Mind Grew Dull

Since May is Mental Health Awareness month, I am highlighting my experience with taking antidepressants and how, over time, I concluded they were causing me more harm than they were doing me good and thus decided to get off of them. I had been put on antidepressants by my G.P. during a rough patch (as is the case  for so many for whom these drugs are casually prescribed). I found, over time, that my mind was growing dull, my thinking fogged, and I sometimes found it hard to come up with the r … [Read more...]

Kierkegaard’s Unrelenting Questions About Faith

Today is the birthday of the Danish Christian philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813 to – November, 11 1855). Among those who have heard of him at all, he is known for such classic works as Fear and Trembling and Sickness Unto Death.Over his troubled life Kierkegaard stayed true to his faith, but wrestled incessantly with its most visceral implications. As a result of this torment, he died prematurely, exhausted from the test. He was depressed. His unstable childhood ill-prepared him for … [Read more...]

My Struggle with Antidepressants: An Epic Slog

Continuing my series, this Mental Health Awareness month, about my journey to quit antidepressants, this post describes the point when I made the decision to finally be rid of them. A passage from John Milton’s Paradise Lost captures the picture of my relationship with antidepressants at that point, and the struggle to be rid of them: “[You] feel by turns the bitter change; Of fierce extremes, extremes more fierce From beds of raging fire to starve in ice Their soft ethereal warmth, and ther … [Read more...]